A lifelong love for gymnastics - British Gymnastics

A lifelong love for gymnastics

The 2018 Adult Gymnastics British Championships will take place on the 25th and 26th August at Lilleshall National Sports Centre. Showcasing plenty of fun alongside extraordinary skill across acrobatic, artistic, trampolining and tumbling disciplines, it’s open to anyone aged 18 and over, regardless of experience or ability.

Registration for the event doesn’t open until June, but the competition handbook has been published, detailing all you need to know about the event.

We caught up with Patti Mills who trains at Pegasus Gymnastics Club and began taking part in adult gymnastics in 2015 after a 23-year break!

How did you first get involved with adult gymnastics?
"I got into adult gymnastics because of my daughter, Katharine. She had mentioned adult gymnastics to me but I didn’t take much notice. When I took her to her first session at Dover Gymnastics Club (when she was 16) I realised that I couldn’t just sit there and watch, and so I started training the following week."

How long was it before you took part at the Adult British?
"I didn't really know anything about the Adult British Gymnastics Championships until Katharine and I started training at Pegasus Gymnastics Club in 2015, where they have a few adults who had been competing and who were gearing up for the 2015 British Championships. Katharine and I were asked if we would like to compete, and we said yes! I was just curious to see what it would be like to compete as a middle-aged person."

How has taking part in gymnastics benefitted you?
"It is great for overall fitness, but more importantly I think it is great for setting goals, and just being happy that I am still able to do it. Relearning old skills is a great buzz, and I have even managed to teach myself a new skill on uneven bars!"

So, what would you say to someone who isn’t sure whether to give adult gymnastics a go?
"I would say to anyone who wants to have a go, absolutely go and try it! I think it is fantastic that there are so many gyms that have adult sessions and that adults of any standard have the opportunity to compete. It is hard work but, like any physical challenge, it is worth it in many different ways. The sense of accomplishment when you learn something new is wonderful. You will be learning things that not many people in the world can do!"

Finally, what’s the best thing about adult gymnastics?
"The best thing about adult gymnastics for me, is that sense of, 'wow, I can actually do a lot of really difficult stuff at this getting-to-be-advanced age!' I think the main thing I am most surprised and happiest about is that many people have told me that I inspire them. I show them that anything is possible if you want to do it badly enough. That, and going upside down is still fun!"

Start your adult gymnastics journey today. Find a club near you.